Eye Exams

What is an Eye Exam?

An eye exam involves a series of tests to evaluate your overall vision. Your eye doctor may use a variety of instruments, directly shine bright lights in your eyes, and ask you to look through a variety of lenses. Each test evaluates a different aspect of your vision and eye health during an eye examination.

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Why it’s Important to Have Regular Eye Exams

An eye exam helps to detect eye problems at the earliest stage. Regular eye exams provide an opportunity for your eye care professional to help you correct or adapt to changes in your vision and give you tips on eye care. Improving your eye care can help prevent future loss of vision or other issues that may arise.

When to Have an Eye Exam

eye exam

Several factors may determine how frequently you need an eye exam, including your age, health, and risk of developing eye problems. General guidelines are as follows:

  • Young Children - Having an eye exam at around three years old, could help catch any vision issues that could arise as the child grows. If vision correction or issues are found, they can be addressed as the child matures.
  • Adolescents – If your adolescent does not have any vision issues, a regular eye exam should be done every one to two years.
  • Adults – Adults without vision problems should gradually have more exams as they age. If you are ages 20-30 years, have your vision checked every five to ten years. If you are 40- 55 years of age, have an exam every two to four years. Once you reach the age of 65 and up, having a yearly exam is recommended.

Types of Eye Exams

There are several different types of eye exams. Each exam helps your doctor determine your overall vision health. Some of these exams are:

  • Eye Muscle Test – Your doctor watches your eye movement as you follow an object that is moving. The doctor is looking for muscle weakness or poor control in your vision.
  • Visual Acuity Test – This calculates how well you see. This exam uses a chart with the alphabet on it and then is read to test for distance perception.
  • Refraction Assessment – The cornea is tested to see if it needs correction. This is tested by passing light over the eyes. This also determines the prescription.
  • Visual Field Test - The visual field test determines whether you have difficulty seeing in any area of your overall field of vision.
  • Color Vision Testing - This test is performed to see if certain colors are seen or not.
  • Slit-lamp Test – An examination of the cornea and lens, eye drops may be used to dilate the pupil so that the doctor can see to the back of the eye.
  • Retinal Exam - Allows your doctor to evaluate the back of your eye, including the retina, the optic disk, and the underlying layer of blood vessels that nourish the retina.
  • Glaucoma Screening -This procedure measures the fluid pressure in your eye. This helps to detect any damage to the optic nerve.

Eye Exam: What to Expect

A clinical assistant or technician may perform part of the exam, such as taking your medical history and the initial eye test. You will be asked questions about your vision history and how you feel. Answers to these questions will help determine the course of action the doctor takes to improve your eye care. Below are some typical questions your doctor might ask:

  • Do you wear glasses or contacts now? If so, are you satisfied with them?
  • What health problems have you had in recent years?
  • Were you born prematurely?
  • Are you taking any medications?
  • Do you have any allergies to medications, food or other substances?
  • Have you ever had eye surgery?

During the exam, your eye doctor will perform a series of exams that measure different aspects of your eye health. After the exam, the doctor will provide you with an assessment and plan on any corrections or issues and how they need to be addressed.

Improving Your Vision

At Atlantic Eye Consultants, we can help you achieve the vision you want. We will work with you to provide you the best possible eye care and solutions that are available. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment or let us know if we can answer any questions you may have.

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